Demon-fighter extraordinaire Ashley J. Williams returns to action later this year in Ash vs. Evil Dead, and now we have our first official image of actor Bruce Campbell in the iconic role he'll reprise in the upcoming Starz television series.
Scheduled to debut this fall, the 10-episode first season of Ash vs. Evil Dead brings Campbell back as the chainsaw-wielding, eminently quotable defender of humanity who reluctantly saved the world from the evil "Deadites" in 1981's The Evil Dead, then again in 1987's Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and once more for good measure in 1992's Army of Darkness. Entertainment Weekly has posted a photo from the set of Ash vs. Evil Dead that offers an early look at Campbell suited up in the signature Ash attire (note the familiar chainsaw hand), as well as some insight from the franchise star about his return to the role.
"It's The Searchers with carnage and mayhem," Campbell told EW of Ash vs. Evil Dead. "I'm relegated a little bit into the John Wayne mode these days with my team -- the young, virile, evil fighters who will pair up with Ash and take on this nemesis: this never ending, ever evolving nemesis."
In the photo, a blood-soaked Ash is positioned front and center, covered in blood and looking ready for battle. He's flanked by supporting characters Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana Delorenzo) both of whom appear to be in a post zombie-eviscerating stupor.
Picking up several decades after the conclusion of Army of Darkness, which brought Ash back to the modern era after a time-traveling adventure, Ash vs. Evil Dead tasks the aging monster hunter with thwarting yet another invasion by the Deadites. Along with Santiago and Delorenzo, Campbell is joined in the cast by Spartacus and Xena actress Lucy Lawless as a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Deadite plague, and Sleepy Hollow actress Jill Marie Jones as a Michigan State Trooper who believes Ash is responsible for the death of her partner.
Executive produced by Evil Dead franchise creators Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, as well as showrunner Craig DiGregorio (Chuck, Reaper), Ash vs. Evil Dead will debut with an episode directed by Raimi and co-written by Raimi and his brother, Ivan Raimi.
"[Ash] is the only one stupid enough to really tamper with those spirits," Raimi told EW. "And he does. But he's also still a really good monster fighter. So, he's also going to be kicking some deadite buttocks, if you'll pardon the French."
There's no specific premiere date for Ash vs. Evil Dead at the moment, but the series is expected to debut this fall on Starz.